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Mortality of nickel workers: experience of men working with metallic nickel.
  1. J E Cox,
  2. R Doll,
  3. W A Scott,
  4. S Smith


    The mortality of men employed in a plant manufacturing nickel alloys from metallic nickel and other metals has been examined. The plant has operated since May 1953, and 1925 men were identified who had been employed in the operating areas at the plant, other than as members of the staff, for a total of five or more years, excluding breaks. Analysis of samples of air obtained from personal samplers showed that since 1975 most of the men are likely to have been exposed to average concentrations of nickel of between 0.5 and 0.9 mg Ni/m3. All but 22 (1.1%) of the men were successfully traced to 1 April 1978 or until they died or emigrated. One hundred and seventeen had died. The numbers of deaths observed from cancers of respiratory and other sites, other respiratory disease, ischaemic heart disease, and other causes of death were compared with the numbers expected from national and local mortality rates. No evidence of the existence of any occupational hazard was obtained. The number of deaths from lung cancer (15) in men employed for five years or more is small. At 98% of the number expected at local rates it is statistically compatible with risks of between 0.5 and 2.2 times "normal."

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